Lucas+Western Architects
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RIBA

Garden House, Wymondham


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Originally part of the garden to an existing house this was a difficult site which called for an imaginative design solution.

– South Norfolk Design Award Commendation 2005

Originally thought to be a gravel or brick pit the general ground level is significantly lower than the adjacent access road. The site is dominated by the North facing embankment and access from the road down into the garden was not a practical solution. The scheme has therefore been designed to sit into the bank with the principal entrance at the top floor level and additional living accommodation arranged on two lower floors beneath this. Due to the gradient of the bank it has been possible to arrange for external access at all levels either directly or via balcony and bridge links. Sustainable aspects of the design include timber frame construction with cellulose fibre insulation, natural timber cladding and organic paints and stains. Subsequently solar photovoltaic panels have been fitted to the south facing roof at street level and there are plans to install solar thermal panels for heating.

The simple rectangular form of the building reflects a contemporary design that seeks to make efficient use of the site particularly as the accommodation is arranged on three floors. The top 2 floors are largely open plan with the top floor having a vaulted ceiling following the profile of the roof and gable glazing that creates a light and spacious studio. The middle floor contains the living, dining and kitchen areas with large sliding glazed doors to the external balcony. The lower floor which is at garden level, houses the bedrooms which benefit acoustically and thermally from being set into the bank at the rear.

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